TelloTalk, Pakistan’s homegrown messaging platform, announced that it has raised USD 1,600,000 in funding from a consortium of international and domestic investors. The Seed Round includes global venture funds ALM Holdings (UAE), SparkLabs FinTech (Asia), One Market Capital (USA) and Cocoon Ignite Ventures (Hong Kong), as well as local institutional investors TPL eVentures, and i2i Ventures.
Shahbaz Jamote, Co-Founder and CEO of TelloTalk said, “We are delighted to have experienced foreign and local venture capital investors believe in us and support our mission. Pakistanis have a choice in messaging apps – TelloTalk is the single best local messaging app, customized for Pakistanis, fully committed to Pakistan, with all our technology and management infrastructure present in Pakistan. TelloTalk understands our local culture and values, for example, we provide our users with regional language keyboard, localized stickers and integrated content across a variety of categories. TelloTalk is also available to corporations of all sizes, for productivity improvement, internal communications or customer interactions via multimedia chat channels. TelloTalk is the only messaging app that fully complies with local regulations to enable critical services such as digital payments and eGovernment. We look forward to adding even more services and have even more Pakistanis enjoying TelloTalk with their friends and families”.
TelloTalk’s Chairman, Arshad Ashraf added: “There are more social media accounts in Pakistan than there are bank accounts. With 150 million Pakistanis below the age of 30, it makes sense to digital connect the unconnected in Pakistan with a technology they are comfortable using. We strongly believe it is a matter of national importance to have a social networking platform that we can truly call our own. At TelloTalk, we aspire to digitize the economy of Pakistan and unleash the incredible creativity and talent of our nation’s youth.”
“In our experience, localized messaging platforms can be highly successful in nations that have large populations, with strong cultures, and well defined digital borders. Just like WeChat in China and KakaoTalk in Korea TelloTalk is uniquely positioned to be that app for Pakistan with a hyper-localized messaging platform that enables connectivity, content sharing, commerce, and corporate services ”, stated Mr. Sameer Chishty who led the Seed Round as Partner at SparkLabs FinTech.
“What impresses us every day is Shahbaz and the team’s passion for their mission of building Pakistan’s own messaging app with world-class technology. TelloTalk is a uniquely appealing venture investment opportunity for us – a strong experienced team, addressing a large market of young people and local companies looking for localized messaging, with a business model that we have seen elsewhere. SparkLabs globally has made almost 300 investments in tech startups; this will be our 4th in Pakistan. We are honored to be part of the TelloTalk journey and supporting Pakistan’s rapid digital-driven economic growth.”
“With 15 years of experience in mobile communications, the TelloTalk team is uniquely positioned to build a national messaging platform,” remarked Usman Sheikh, CEO of Auj Technologies and a Board Director of TelloTalk. “Not only do we have a passionate team of entrepreneurs building this robust platform but we are also blessed with the combined wisdom of an excellent group of global investors backing this exciting venture.”
For most of the international investors participating in the Seed Round, this will be their first investment in Pakistan. The funds raised are being planned to be deployed for Marketing & Advertising, Infrastructure Expansion, and Product Development.